Monday, August 26, 2013

Saying Good-Bye . . .

Such a crazy week.  So many mixed emotion, changes and excitement!

I can't believe that they're doing travel visas now!  Plus I have no idea that there were 400 missionaries waiting - I guess that means I'm just one in a crowd!  :)  Hopefully I will get mine soon.  Keep praying for me!  :)

Tell Kenzie she's in my prayers!  Hopefully her eye will get better soon.  Tell her to pray for it too.  It works!!  Sounds like ya'll had an awesome weekend and some fun parties too!

As for Guthrie - It's definitely bigger than Anadarko.  It's a super cool town where the downtown is made of red bricks - what you would imagine an old time cowboy movie would look like.

My new companion is named Elder Rumsey.  He's a hard working missionary and I'm excited for this transfer!  Our apartment is brand new so we've spent a lot of time getting things set up.  We are shotgunning the south end of the city so we have absolutely NO WORK except for visiting members.  :)  The ward is awesome!  I love them already.  It's huge change of pace from Anadarko where there were maybe only 60 people that would show up - now we have an entire ward with at least 250 people!

This ward is super missionary minded so our calendar to get fed in completely full!  We will have at least 1 meal with a member each day.  In fact, we've been fed every night since I got here.  The ward mission leader is awesome too!  He hooked us up with a map of the area and told us about a few families that we could go visit.

Monday:  It was a crazy day.  A lot of sad news, good-byes and more good-byes.  We played soccer in Chickasha because the bowling alley closed down.  We went back to Darko with the sisters and I gave them some of my Head Country Surprise!  (I asked him what that was and he told me that it was a dinner that he makes:  noodles, hamburger, BBQ sauce, cheese and spices.  Hmmm . . . sounds interesting!  haha) 

We were asked to do FHE for the Poolaw family that night and it was awesome!  We taught the kids about prayer and how they can talk to their Heavenly Father anytime.  We told them that it was like making a phone call to our family and friends.  Afterwards we played tag and it was SO fun!  We got eaten up by mosquitoes but it's alright - well worth it!  We took some good-bye photos and called it a day.  The kids stole my camera so I have like 200 pictures from that night.  :)

Tuesday:  It was all about E. Harris.  :)  I got to go say good-bye to all of my favorite people.  We talked to Charlie for awhile that morning and I was so sad to say good-bye to him that I went back later that afternoon and said good-bye again!  :)


Then telling Cindy good-bye couldn't have torn my heart up any more than it did!  She toldme that she wouldn't be who she is now without me - which I don't fully agree with since missionaries would have found her eventually!  I know that she will keep growing in the gospel and be an amazing sister in the branch.  (Notice the picture in the background that they gave her for her birthday!)

I got to see James and he gave me a traveling feather.  He told me that he had taken it everywhere with him.  It is a hawk feather and it looks super cool.

Then I went to say good-bye to Jesus y Vico.  He told me that I needed to practice my Spanish some more.  I just smiled and left.  :)  I said good-bye to the Eckiwaudah family and they said that they were going to start attending church.  When I said good-bye to Nola it was so hard.  She started crying and I felt awful because I didn't want to leave her.  I'm sure that she'll be baptized soon so it's okay.  I never did get a chance to say good-bye to the kids which is the worst.  I love Isabelle and I hope that she beats leukemia for good.

Then the hardest good-byes came.  I met up with Michael at Braums that night and we had a shake.  It was so sad to leave him because it was like saying good-bye to Braeden all over again!  Those two are the same age and I love him SO much.  I actually gave him my Hold to the Rod necklace I've been wearing.  I don't know why, but when we were standing there at the end of the night I had this thought that I should give it to him.  So . . . I did!  Sometimes we don't know what happens after we act on the promptings, but I did my part.

Then the grand finale of good-byes . . . . Tracy and Hayley.  It was the worst.  I'll miss "Mom" more than anyone else in Anadarko.  She made my time here awesome.  All of the times that we could just sit on her porch and talk to her, tell her about our miracles from the day, talk about our faith, how to build hers - which also built ours.  I don't know.  It almost felt like I was talking to you every night Mom!  Just like when I used to sit on your bathtub and talk to you while you soaked your feet.  Seriously, saying goodbye to her was hard.

I ended up having to pack up that night and had stuff to do until about 3 am.  So I got up the next morning at 6:30 to shower because Hayley and Mom wanted to take some pictures before they had to go to school.

Wednesday:  I drove up to Moore to transfers and I got to take a bunch of pictures with all of my Elder friends.  Then I loaded up my suitcases and drove up to Guthrie with E Rumsey!  There is another set of Elders are the North side of town - E Otuafi and E.Spafford - they're awesome.

That night we got the apartment situated and had dinner at the Bowman's.  We sang them a song for our spiritual thought.  We sang I am a Child of God in 3 different languages - English, Spanish, and Tongan.  it was super cool!

During the day I got a new bike that I need to fix up and also permission to drive the mission vehicles!  :)

Thursday:  We did our weekly planning session for our new area.  We also did some service where I got to dig pipe for this man in the ward.  The trench was 2 ft wide and 1.5 feet deep.  So I got to work and bust out like 20 feet in 2 hours!  It was SO hot outside - I probably lost some weight.

Friday:  We drove up to Edmond for district meeting.  There were 3 other districts that met there so there were like 25 missionaries there and it was CRAZY!  We talked about obedience and diligence - it was a really good district meeting.  Afterwards, we went to Chick-Fil-A and there was this girl that worked there and she would go get refills for people and dump their trays for them.  So I stand up to throw my tray away and she RAN over to me and asked to take it for me.  Being a service oriented missionary I figured that I could help her out by doing it myself.  After she asked me 2 times if she could take it, she got all snappy and said "Please let go!"  I wish I had a recording of it because it was so funny!  So I finally just gave it to her and we went tracting for the rest of the day.

Saturday:  We had 2 baptisms!  One in Guthrie and one in Edmond.  We sang "I'm Trying to be Like Jesus" at the second baptism.  I was awesome.  After the baptisms and cleaning up, we went to dinner at the Knell's house (their son was baptized) and had some burgers.

Sunday:  I love Sundays - especially in this ward.  The talks were awesome and everyone I met was super friendly, welcoming and I instantly loved them.  We got to teach Gospel Principles and then we got to go to Primary!!  :)  While we were singing Book of Mormon stories the chorister stopped in the middle of the song and pointed out that e. Otuafi is a real life lamanite!  He instantly became popular with the kids!  :)

That night we tried to go see a member and the woman that came to the door told us that who we were looking for didn't live there anymore and that she had moved in a few months ago.  So we talked with her for a little bit and she told us that she used to be Jewish but converted to Christianity when her son was 8.  When she went to her church she would sit in the back row and whenever people would talk to her she would introduce herself by saying, "Hi, my name is Kili and I'm Jewish."  So when I get home, I think that I'm going to say, "Hi, my name is Cody and I'm a Mormon!"  haha  Basically she didn't want anything to do with Christianity.  She is Jewish and that's all there is.

Long story short, her son received a witness that Christ lives and because of that she received a testimony of Him too.  She told us that one of the most influential people in her life was a Mormon and so we asked her if she'd ever read the Book of Mormon.  She seemed interested so we set up a return appointment for later this week!  :)

I'm super excited to work here - it's really an awesome place!  I hope ya'll have a good week!

Keep the Faith!
Expect Miracles!

Love ya!

Elder Harris

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